Friday, December 30, 2011

Keynes Was Right

Paul Krugman, our favorite economist, knows that Keynes was right: when you're in a slump, spend!  The austerity programs forced onto Euro countries, especially Greece, Italy, and Ireland, simply don't work.  In fact, they're making things worse.  And the United States would get more bang for its bucks by spending domestically rather than on the military.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weapons for Saudi Arabia

Business is good for Amerika's weapons manufacturers.

What Are Weapons Good For?

Lockheed-Martin and friends are selling 11 billion dollars worth of weapons to the Iraqi army that may get used to kill Sunni's rather than to defend the borders.  Weapons are trouble no matter where they show up.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A New Hero

Jed S. Rakoff is Federal District Judge for Southern New York.  He recently sent the SEC back to the drawing board in their non-case against Citicorp.  A fan of JFK and Harry, he believes that big Wall Street firms must take responsibility for their actions that caused the Great Recession.  He is one of our new heroes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bill Moyers Is Coming Back

We're delighted to tell you that "Moyers & Company" in Philadelphia will be on WHYY-TV starting at Noon on Sunday, January 15.

Dear Friends,

You already may have heard that I’m coming back in January with a new series on the public television station nearest you. But you may not have heard exactly why. It’s not just that I lack retirement skills, as my wife and co-editor, Judith, keeps reminding me. Or that the squeaky rocking chair on the front porch got on my nerves. I’m coming back because in tumultuous times like these I relish the company of people who try to make sense of the tumult. These are the people I’ll bring to our new broadcast, Moyers & Company.
Journalism has long been for me a continuing course in adult education. Given what’s happening in this country, it’s time to sign up for more classes. The lack of civility and common sense that has paralyzed our democracy, the vast economic and social inequality that sends both left and right raging into the streets, the corrosive influence of money in politics – we’re in a tailspin with little hope for a course correction from our elected leadership or corporate-dominated media. The need for voices of reason, simple and eloquent, has rarely been stronger.
Those voices, whether they be from artist or social critic, philosopher or poet, historian or physicist, can bring us truth, inspiration, even hope. So I’ll be reaching out in this new series to people engaged in the trials and errors of democracy, who have tested their ideas against experience, and who know that the health of our body politic is everybody’s business. They help us see the world anew, and to make informed choices.
This will be a political series, but not a partisan one. In the conversation of democracy, everyone’s invited. That means you, too. You’re welcome to share opinions in the marketplace of ideas we’ll be offering with our all-new website, Our aim is dialogue, not diatribe, and we want you in it.
So join us – on Moyers & Company – in January. (Truth is, I never really cared for that rocking chair.)
Yours Truly,
Bill Moyers

Friday, December 23, 2011

Welcome To Africa

According to this article, we're increasingly involved in building and operating military bases in and near Africa to serve as launch sites for drones.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What's Happening In Budapest?

What's happening on the Danube sounds awfully familiar and can be read as an augury of our republic's future.  Especially sobering is the appearance of Massachusetts's own Gerrymandering in the land of the Magyars.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays, Scrooge!

Bob, Jane, Walter, and Owen (taking the picture) brought season's greetings to Congressman Meehan (PA-07).

Some Respect For The 1%!

"Upon what meat doth this our Caesar eat that he has grown so great?"  Cassius is now writing letters fit to be printed on the NY Times's business page about the unadmiring tone of the President's recent remarks about Wall Street.  Cassius (Cooperman) demands some respect.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Watch The Bradley Manning Case!

March and Demonstration At the Gate of Fort Meade, Maryland

For the second day of Bradley Manning's Preliminary Hearing

Marchers Send Manning Happy Birthday Greeting

By the time Bradley Manning supporters set off on Saturday for the two mile march from the main gate of Fort Meade to the gate nearest the hearing site, they numbered at least 300 people. The group was quite spirited and, despite Anne Arundel County Police efforts to keep marchers on the sidewalk, there were too many of them and they were too determined to spread out into the street. The police, wisely, let the marcher have some space. A friend and I had driven down from Philadelphia and arrived a little early. At the local Dunkin Donut we found ourselves in line behind two Anne Arundel County officers there to pick up their daily allotment of donuts. They were friendly and we chatted about being there for the Manning hearing. They proudly told us the department had provided two porta-potties for the convenience of demonstrators. They told us to be safe and stay on the sidewalk.

A witness to Friday's opening day of the hearing said, despite the nasty and shameful treatment by the military early on in his captivity, Manning looked healthy and chatted easily with his attorneys. He notably made no eye-contact and did not in any way recognize the many sympathizers in the courtroom. This seemed a prudent decision of his attorneys. Manning's attorneys made a number of motions, all or most of which were rejected. I was told only two of 38 requested witnesses for Manning were allowed by the military judges. When the hearing was over and people were filing out, VFP national board member Nate Goldshlag hollered "Bradley Manning is a hero!" This sort of thing was frowned upon and he was told not to return in the future.

Following the spirited two mile march, a number of speakers addressed the crowd. Saturday was Bradley Manning's 24th birthday, so following the last speaker singer-songwriter Dave Rovics led the group in singing Happy Birthday to Manning. Here was a courageous young man who fits all the criteria of a "whistleblower" who (allegedly) provided The New York Times and dozens of other mainstream news outlets with cable information and details on how the government we pay taxes to acts around the world in our name. Since WikiLeaks released all this cable traffic, a week has not gone by that at least one New York Times reporter has not cited some bit of WikiLeaks information inside his or her story. While Manning rots in prison and has to fight for his life, mainstream media reporters continue to use the material he allegedly provided. Yet, many of them are essentially just letting him hang out to dry. If that's not bad enough, what's really absurd is after all this material has been made public members of the military are under orders to act as if it's still a big secret -- sort of like making everybody in uniform act like Sergeant Shultz in Hogan's Heroes: "I see nothing!" Let's just say, the situation seems to get more absurd every day.

Everyone demonstrating on Saturday outside the Fort Meade base made it clear they felt Bradley Manning is an American Hero. The hearing is expected to last maybe a week or more.

Ron Paul & Military Spending

Here's Ron Paul at one of those Republican debates.  Notice the decidedly chilly reception he gets from the audience when he suggests closing overseas bases and bringing the troops home.

Kristof On Arms Sales To Bahrain

The people who run (and own) Bahrain treat its citizens with contempt.  They drown the people in tear gas - gas that comes from Pennsylvania.  Arms are now one of our major exports.  But what does it do to the reputation of the United States to be associated with such a government and such weapons?  Nicolas Kristof knows.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More New Overseas Bases

That is Count Dracula's castle in Romania.  Now the Pentagon is building multi-million dollar missile bases there and in Bulgaria. We are told that this is to inform the Russians that we take Eastern Europe seriously [One wonders what they think the State Department is for].  But read this Stars & Stripes article and find out what your tax dollars are up to.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This map shows the new congressional districts in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Chakkah Fattah's CD-02 is interesting because it has swallowed Lower Merion Township of Montgomery County, thus relieving Rep. Gerlach of a large number of pesky Democrats.  But for sheer lunacy, you have to study the contours of the new seventh district (in dark green).  It meanders through five counties (Montgomery, Delaware, Chester, Lancaster and Berks).  It bisects Upper Merion Township.  There has never been a district quite like it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What Rocky Anderson Said On Amy Goodman's Show

Military Spending And Jobs Creation

Updated research confirms earlier studies of the number of jobs created by a billion dollars invested in the military, education, green energy, and just plain tax cuts. Money squandered on unnecessary military spending (see F-22 and USS Gerald R. Ford) could do much more for the economy if spent on civilian jobs.  See our video on Smart Security. Click on the link at the top of the right-hand column.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Third Party Presidential Candidate?

Stop This Bill!

Last week the US Senate by a vote of 93-7 passed the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) awarding $662 billion for the military, including $117 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For roll-call see

Senate and House versions of the bill were reconciled this weekend, with a final version expected either today or tomorrow. Once complete, the House and Senate will be asked to vote on it very quickly. There is no time to waste! Let your Senators and Representatives know that you are opposed to the 2012 Defense Authorization bill because it imperils civil liberties, continues an endless war in Afghanistan and elsewhere, wastes billions of dollars that 99% of Americans need for a more secure life here at home.
This bill (S.1867) is an extraordinarily dangerous measure, which grants power to the military to arrest and detain US citizens without legal counsel and trial. The relevant provisions were negotiated in secret by Sen.Carl Levin (D) and Sen. John McCain (R), ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. As explained by supporter Sen. Lindsay Graham, "when they say I want my lawyer...,you tell them 'Shut up. You don't get a lawyer."
The Senate measure includes the language of the Merkley Amendment, calling upon the President to accelerate US withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is a significant achievement for peace movement. However, as presently written, the Defense Authorization bill would fund the war at the level preferred by the White House. Furthermore by approving $662 billion for the military, the Senate is continuing to squander tax dollars that are urgently needed to create jobs, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and invest in our nation's education and health.
Let your views be heard: Call the Capitol switchboard (202)224-3121 or email your Senators and Representative. If you can visit their nearest office and let their staffs know of your concern, that's even better. Pick the approach that works best for you and your group. But now is the time to demand that our elected officials vote "No!" on S.1867
Please let us know about any feedback you receive
co-conveners UFPJ Legislative Working Group


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lethal Insanity

Noam Chomsky on the suicidal direction US environmental thinking is going.  An extraterrestial observer would have to coinclude we've lost our grip.

NY Times: Cut The Military

In the lead editorial today, the New York Times approves large cuts in military spending to help cut the nation's deficit.  The editorial writer fails to mention the lack of Pentagon audits.  We have to assume there is massive waste in such an unaudited juggernaut.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It All Started August 23, 1971

It's always a treat to read or hear Bill Moyers.  Here he talks about how Wall Street took over our country.  It's hard now to recall that the Environmental Protection Agency was signed into law by Richard Nixon.  Think of any of the GOP candidates doing such a thing today!

You Could Be In The Brig

The Defense Authorization Act could not only take you out of your Occupy Bryn Mawr tent, but it could also turn you over to the military for indefinite detention without trial [US Constitution be damned].  Read what Matt Taibbi has to say.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Breathe With Care!

This report from the Environmental Integrity Project and the Sierra Club tells us not only that three of the nation's dirtiest coal-burning power plants are in Pennsylvania, but that Pennsylvania has the worst coal plant pollution in the nation, edging out Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky (all upwind from us).  Reading the article will give you an idea of what steps can be taken to save our lungs.

They're In The 99%

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Business Is Good

OK - We've got them surrounded

The drumbeats get louder and louder.  The propaganda war against Iran gets nearer and nearer to a real war.  We're "shocked" that Iran shot down one of our drones flying over their country.  Imagine if an Iranian drone had been flying over Iowa! This all has a deja vu feeling: weapons of  mass destruction, etc.  Orwell would have loved it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The End Of For-profit Healthcare?

This article - and it is from Forbes! - tells us that a little-noticed provision in the Obamacare Act limits health insurers to 20% overhead.  The glory days of 30%+ are over.  Rick Ungar thinks this is the beginning of the end of Aetna et al, and that we are inexorably headed toward a single-payer non-profit system.  From his lips to God's ears!

"Of Gods And Men" - January 6

On the large screen at Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield.  Friday, January 6, 7pm.  Details: 610-544-1818.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Social Security Saved! (So Far So Good)

Super Committee right not to cut

To the Editor:

Despite claims that that the Congressional Super Committee that was charged with reducing the federal deficit was a “failure,” the American people know it wasn’t. In the end, the programs we value and depend on so much were not cut. In fact, we should be proud that so many of us stood up and demanded that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid be excluded from the negotiations. People from across America called and wrote their Members of Congress, demonstrated at rallies and talked to their friends and neighbors, and the result was nothing short of extraordinary. Our collective voice stopped those in Washington from cutting programs critical to working Americans. We should pause to count our blessings and then prepare for the next wave because while this battle may be over, the war against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid rages on.


Jane Dugdale,  Bryn Mawr

Join With Phila/DelCo WILPF

Join With Phila/Delco WILPF
To Support Human Rights Day and
an End to All Wars

Saturday, December 10, 2011, 12 p.m.
Across from the West Side of City Hall
meet at the Clothespin

Dear WILPF Members and Friends.

Saturday, December 10 is Human Rights Day! The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948! This Declaration was the result of the experience of the Second World War!

Let's show our support for Occupy Philly as we march for Universal Rights and an End to all War.

We hope to see you there. Bring Banners, Buttons and Bull Horns. We'll bring a WILPF banner.

Let's be a part of the Movement!

For additional information, call or e-mail Judy Elson, 215-840-4794, or Dory Loder, 215-438-5323,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cutting The Military Budget - New Ideas

There are some members of Congress (mainly Democratic) who are interested in cutting military spending (especially in overseas bases).  Read on.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Who Should Own The Banks?

  The Bank of North Dakota

It's time for a good rethinking of our banking system and the Federal Reserve, and this article is a good place to start.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The 1% Strike In Montgomery County

Keep taxes low on the homes of the 1%!   The Commissioners are considering a massive cut in social services to preclude any increase in real estate taxes.  Never mind that county property taxes are the lowest of any municipality in the region.  Never mind that the proposal would drastically cut libraries, parks, community college, and other services.  The important thing is to keep those taxes low.  The Commissioners will meet to discuss these plans On Wednesday, December 7, at 10am.  Citizens should make every effort to attend.  Here's the county's press release.,A,11,Q,83546.asp

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tax Wall Street Trading

An idea whose time has come.  Several overseas exchanges have already started imposing the tax, and it looks like Europe is next.  A 0.5% tax on stock transfers would raise more than a half trillion dollars a year and would discourage excessive "churning" of stock accounts.

Health Care For All

Chuck Pennachio continues to lead the fight for single-payer (Medicare for all) in Pennsylvania.  The current system, even with the tweaks provided by the Obama healthcare law, cannot do the job.  Read about what we could and should do, and then join up at